The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation celebrated “10 Years Reimagined” during this year’s Blue Diamond Gala.
“This opportunity is for us to showcase our cumulative success over the last 10 years that we’ve shown up for Los Angeles in a significant way, focused specifically on homelessness, education, healthcare, and social justice,” said LADF CEO Nichol Whiteman.
Global R&B Superstar and eight-time Grammy Award winner Usher headlined the benefit concert.
“To be able to support their 10 year and to be able to give the resources and opportunities,” Usher said. “So really happy to be here to not only enjoy and celebrate and be part of the entertainment, but also to raise awareness.”
LADF provides countless services to Los Angeles youth and residents. LADF provided food and baseball kits to Dodgers Dreamteam students during the Pandemic shutdown, and created 60 Dodgers Dreamfields throughout Los Angeles.
“It’s important to be impactful at that stadium but it also is important to be impactful at people that support,” said former MLB star Dontrelle Willis.
General manager Dave Roberts is in his eighth season with the Dodgers, he mentioned how he and the reimagined Dodgers Foundation started around the same time.
“Nicole (Whiteman) has done a fantastic job partnering with the Dodgers and working for Los Angeles and Greater Los Angeles … ‘it’s bigger than baseball’ is their slogan,” Roberts said.
“All the work they’ve done the last 10 years and honestly before that, it’s incredible,” said Dodgers reporter Kirsten Watson. “Everything from the field that they’ve made for young students and young athletes to have access to equal opportunity.”
The event included a pre-show dinner with DJ D-Nice providing music for attendees and a live auction. Actress Holly Robinson-Peete and former NFL star Rodney Peete hosted the evening. The gala raised $3,555,112.
“Every year, I try to come and help support to raise the funds that’s needed,” Emmy award-winning host Loni Love said. “It’s a party with a purpose, it’s something I believe in.”
There were also performances by musical groups from local schools, including the Inglewood High School Marching Band, Folkorico from State Street Elementary School, and Woodcraft Rangers’ Mariachi from Haddon Avenue STEAM Academy and Magnet.
“I’ve been immersed in Dodgers, my wife’s from L.A., her whole family are Dodger fans,” Legendary music producer Jimmy Jam said. “The last couple of years because of the pandemic … I was able to help out the Dodger Foundation to do it virtually.”
Chargers defensive lineman Ottio Ogbonnia understands the importance of giving back.
“I think all the L.A. teams needs to come together and support, L.A. is such a big meaningful community to all of us and if we can bring ourselves out to come and support for charitable reasons for the kids, that’s why we’re out here,” Ogbonnia said.
For actor Glynn Turman, the Dodgers’ proximity to the community is a plus.
“What’s really cool is that the stadium is actually located in the community, that gives it a special place,” Turman said. “I think that adds an extra feather in this wonderful organizations’ cap.”